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About the Photos

Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.

 
 
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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • FLY CANADIAN PACIFIC, c. 1950s

Power Steering: 1943

Power Steering: 1943

March 1943. "A truck driver on U.S. Highway 29 near Charlottesville, Virginia." Photo by John Vachon for the Office of War Information. View full size.

 

Slack in the wheel - can you imagine?

I can see this vee-hickle going down road at highway speed with mans hands moving up and down 6 inches...normal for the times!

Clever, those primitives!

The lever on the steering wheel hub might be spark advance-retard, manual throttle, or even a headlamp switch. Early autos allowed for (in fact, required) lots of manual adjustments on the way from start to idle to full operation, and the steering wheel/column were a logical location for those controls. Now, car steering wheels are crowded with ancillary controls for our more modern driving tasks -- tune the radio, switch CD channels, engage "sport" mode, order your home margarita machine to crank up a batch because you just exited the freeway.

 
THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG
Shorpy.com | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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